OVME may not be a household name yet, but it certainly plans to become one. OVME (pronounced “of me”) is a new cosmetic services boutique that just opened its first location in the Buckhead district of Atlanta. It was founded by Dr. Mark McKenna, a serial entrepreneur and medical doctor who currently lives in Atlanta. Prior to starting OVME, Dr. McKenna was the founder of ShapeMed, which was acquired by fitness giant, LifeTime Fitness in 2014. In a recent episode of This Just In with Justin Barnes, Mark McKenna talks candidly about his challenges as an entrepreneur and shares his vision for OVME and the aesthetic medicine industry.
Who is Dr. Mark McKenna?
In his interview with Justin Barnes on eHealth Podcast, Dr. McKenna shared details of his background in medicine and entrepreneurship. He grew up in New Orleans around a family of doctors. His father was a surgeon and many of his uncles were doctors. So much of his childhood was influenced by the medical field. Eventually, Mark McKenna became a doctor too, but he always had an interest in entrepreneurship as well.
In the interview, he shared that during his early years of practicing medicine, he invested every penny into starting a real estate business.
He and his partners built a lucrative boutique real estate firm that provided turn-key real estate services including design, build, financing, and closing services. The company employed over 50 people. However, when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it wiped out his entire business.
Dr. McKenna started spending time in Atlanta, fell in love with the city (how could you not?!), and eventually moved to it in August of 2007. Later that same year, he launched ShapeMed. ShapeMed was a high-end cosmetic procedure facility that offered treatments such as Juvederm, Latisse, and Botox. ShapeMed grew to be one of the largest medical aesthetic providers in the Southeast.
The Acquisition of ShapeMed by LifeTime Fitness
Because of the high volume of Botox orders from ShapeMed, the pharmaceutical giant, Allergan (the maker of Botox) invited Mark McKenna out to an exclusive event for the company’s top six clients. LifeTime Fitness was also one of these clients. In the interview, Dr. McKenna shared that this is where the dialogue began with LifeTime to acquire ShapeMed. They were both targeting the same clientele and it made sense to form a partnership and “cross-pollinate” the market.
As part of the acquisition, ShapeMed was moved inside of the LifeTime Fitness gyms. According to Dr. Mark McKenna, it was an ideal partnership. He became the National Medical Director for LifeTime and stayed with them until July of 2016.
Since the focus of This Just In is entrepreneurship, Justin Barnes asked Dr. McKenna to share with the audience any obstacles or challenges he faced with ShapeMed.
Mark McKenna said that “One challenge that many entrepreneurial doctors face is a lack of exposure to the accounting principals of running a business.”
With his prior business venture, he had some experience with this aspect of things, however, his biggest mistake with ShapeMed was not having an exit plan in mind.
At the time that Dr. Mark McKenna launched ShapeMed, he was primarily focused on creating the company. He funded it himself and he was much more concerned with growing the business than he was with building an exit strategy. It was simply not something he really put much thought into.
This was a valuable lesson for Dr. Mark McKenna and with the launch of his new company, OVME, he and his partners are thinking long-term from the very beginning.
The OVME Brand
While Dr. McKenna admits that he is still in “stealth mode” with OVME, he did share some information about the company and his vision for its future. OVME just had its soft launch and will open to the public at its Buckhead location on March 1st. According to Dr. McKenna, the focus of OVME is to build a brand around retail medical aesthetics. Currently, there are a number of medical spas and boutique cosmetic procedure clinics around the country, but they are dominated by local doctors and dermatologists. There is a lack of national presence by any one particular brand in this space.
When discussing his plans with OVME, Dr. Mark McKenna stated that “Products (like Botox and Juvederm) are well known, but there’s not a brand that consumers recognize nationwide that has done a really good job of gaining market share.”
The plan for OVME is to become that recognizable brand that brings sophistication to this space.
While the Buckhead location in Atlanta will be the first one, he plans to eventually expand OVME across the country.
While Dr. McKenna funded ShapeMed on his own, he has raised $4 million in private equity capital to fund OVME. According to Mark McKenna, his private equity partners, Equity 38, are just as passionate about health and wellness as he is. So, it is the perfect partnership.
Looking at the OVME brand long-term, Dr. McKenna’s goal is to build a “cool company”. He believes that the opportunities with technology, retail, and medicine are virtually limitless and he is excited to be in this space with OVME.
He told eHealth Radio “We want to build a brand around medical aesthetics that has a nationwide reach”.
OVME and Make A Wish Foundation
During the interview, Dr. McKenna also shared that OVME has partnered with the Make a Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children facing terminal illnesses. OVME will donate a portion of its proceeds to the Make A Wish Foundation in Georgia. Dr. McKenna and his wife have a great passion for children, especially since starting their own family, and believe in the importance of giving back to the community. Not only do they believe that this is a very worthwhile organization, it has a national presence. As OVME grows and expands into other states across the country, it will continue to work with Make A Wish Foundation in the various states that it is located in.